13 was a very special number for our family. When Linda and I were raising our kids, we would only celebrate their 13th birthday. As Julie and Jimmy grew up, they became anxious for the big 13.

People would always tell me, “Pastor, when your kids turn 13, you’re going to feel different and you will not be so strict. You’ll change with the times.” Well, the special number has come and gone for my children, and I don’t feel any different.

I was reminded of the values I had taught my children when my oldest granddaughter, Amy, turned 13. On that day, my son, son in-law, and I were to take a flight to Biloxi, Mississippi, to speak for a television station. My son told me he couldn’t make it because he would be celebrating Amy’s birthday. He wanted to make the day special for her.

I’ll bet Amy will never forget the day her dad set aside his plans to celebrate her birthday. Kids don’t need to get everything they’ve ever wanted. They just need parents who will give of their time to make them feel special.

Your family may be in disarray because of poor decisions you’ve made in the past. Here’s your encouragement: God can put broken things in your life back together. Maybe you weren’t raised in a good home, and you don’t know what it means to be loved by your parents. If you’ve put your trust in Christ, you’re a part of God’s family. You are special to Him. Allow Him to love your family through you today.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. — Benjamin Franklin

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder